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A picture is worth 1,000 words

Sunday, September 02, 2012

Since I'm having so much trouble visualizing my 40 pound weight loss, I spent some time taking pictures of myself. I have some "before" shots of me near my all-time high weight. I still have the swimsuit I took that picture in so I put it on for my "during" shot. Yes, in the picture I can see the difference.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NURSEPIRT 9/3/2012 9:09PM

    Great Job

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BABY_GIRL69 9/3/2012 12:26PM

    You look great!! Keep pushing... emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticonGod bless & enjoy everyday! Dee

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LADYFITNE 9/3/2012 11:34AM

    Very encouraging yes you can see the difference. What a blessing. Keep up the good work... emoticon

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AATKIN01 9/3/2012 9:39AM

    OKAAAYYY Ms WRITINGBLUEHAWK! Lookin good! Get it! emoticon

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DIANER2014 9/3/2012 1:43AM

    Your're looking great! emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 9/3/2012 1:43:57 AM

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RUSSELLORAMA 9/2/2012 11:35PM

    I'm glad you can see the difference now!

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PURPLE180 9/2/2012 10:21PM

    Your are to a emoticon job!

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SHELL1400_85 9/2/2012 8:48PM

    Thank you for sharing!
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NILLAPEPSI 9/2/2012 8:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LADYGSC 9/2/2012 8:12PM

    You're looking great girl!!! Keep on sparking!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FLEURGARDEN 9/2/2012 7:43PM

    Wow - You're doing great!

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SKEETOR 9/2/2012 5:56PM

    Simply Divine! Yay! emoticon

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BUFFEDSTUFF-- 9/2/2012 5:19PM

  Lady you can hone an awesome physique. Good job keep making yourself proud. emoticon emoticon

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LADYPIPPIE 9/2/2012 5:09PM

    Great job!

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CAKEMAKERMOM 9/2/2012 5:07PM

    Great job! The hardest part is taking those pictures! I'm glad you have reference points.
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KOMTRIA 9/2/2012 4:41PM

 
You look fabulous. Great work

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VICTORY2XS 9/2/2012 4:40PM

    Wow!

Amazing!

Congratulat
ions!

Denise

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Not a Runner, but.....

Saturday, September 01, 2012

When I took an eight-week course on weight loss, our instructor advised us to face our fears. Mine is running. Not because of any prior injuries, but because I suck at it. When I run, I don't feel light and graceful. I feel like I'm trudging along in quicksand, wishing, hoping, waiting on the run to be over. My family used to tell me I didn't run I "lumbered." Isn't that an awful word? LUMBER? It sounds like something an elephant does when it's in a hurry.

I envy people who can run. I do. Because in high school, I was the one who was left in the dust when the gym class had to run laps. In college, during a fitness test, I was THE slowest runner in the group. I was SO slow, that my best friend at the time finished his two miles, ran back, and finished the run with me.

So given ALL of this baggage I have, is it any wonder that I never thought of myself as a runner? Why I deplored the activity and hated the arrogance of runners who can't relate to people like me? But when I visualize myself at my goal weight, there is always one thing that I am doing. I'm running like a gazelle, wearing black athletic shorts and a light blue fitted v-neck cap sleeve shirt.

When our instructor challenged me to sign up for a 5k and do a couch to 5k to train for it, I balked. He wasn't having it. He told me "Sign up for one first. Train later." The words still haunt me because I haven't done it. I haven't signed up for a thing because I've only run 5K on my own once as a teenager. Plus, my old fears returned, "I'll be left in the dust. I'll be miserable. I'll hate the experience." The course has been over for two weeks and my instructor continues to send information to our class about upcoming 5Ks.

The only way to combat my fears is to face them, right? So yesterday morning, I woke up with the intention of running 5K. I've been jogging 10-15 minutes on the treadmill. Can I run longer than that? How far can I go? So, using the SP app, I mapped out a rectangular-shaped 5K in my neighborhood, grabbed my ipod, stretched my legs, then headed for the door. I decided that I was only going to jog until I was out of breath. I expected to last my usual 10-15 minutes. But I kept giving myself new goals, e.g. "Just jog until you get to that traffic light, then you can walk." or "Jog until you reach that blue house." When I felt my breath leaving me, I slowed down to something I can only describe as a walk-jog and let my arms flap down around my sides. Suddenly, I realized, I was 3/4 done. If I made it this far, then I should finish, right? So I kept on and FINISHED the course. I had not run 5K since I was eighteen. Now, I'm almost 47 and I did it!!

I can't TELL you how proud I am. I still haven't signed up for a 5K, because it took me 50 minutes to run this course. I still fear being left in the dust. But maybe, just maybe if I run it again. And again. And again, I'll pick up speed.

For the first time in a long time, I am in awe of what the human body can do. Last year at this time, I couldn't climb two flights of stairs without feeling winded. Now, I'm playing softball, hiking and I just jogged 5K. It's a mental breakthrough for me because it helps me understand that I need to quick talking myself out of doing things and just go do them.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KTBLEYES1 9/4/2012 5:03PM

    You have inspired me! I have had a couch potato to 5 k plan hanging up on my wall for I don't want to say how long. It is a difficult thing to get one's mind around. I know I can do it, but when it comes down to it, I don't want to work that hard. What I found out from my 2 daughters who run and walk, the most important thing to do is to take that first step out the door. With the heat this summer, my husband and I have been going out early to ride bikes around the lake. Now that I have read your blog, I have hope that I can make it on a 5 k too! I am now going to get serious about training for it, then doing it. My daughters said when they ran/walked in the 5 ks they went in that there were all kinds of people going. All speeds. All sizes. Some walked it all. Some did both. Some were slow, some fast. It did not matter if the person were the first or the last, the people cheered for them. Someone was there to say, keep it up, way to go. This was in a local 5 k. It was just big enough to have many people they did not know, but a few they did. They both agreed it was a blast. So, that is my mini goal. To take the first step out the door. Thanks for you post, very inspiring. Plus, I love the photos before and during. Keep up the great work.

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BUFFEDSTUFF-- 9/2/2012 5:23PM

  Stay focused on the fitness realm and you never know where it will take you. It takes time to grow and develop. Train safe and in due time you will know when you are ready to strut your stuff across the finish line.

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FLEURGARDEN 9/1/2012 9:41PM

    Woo Hoo - Way to go! I also hated running in gym class and sucked at it, so I can totally relate. I haven't actually attempted running again, but I will admit that the thought is there and germinating in my mind as a future goal.

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KRISZTA11 9/1/2012 3:37PM

    emoticon
Running a 5K is a huge fitness achievement!
I ran mine own first one last October and I remember how great that felt!
Don't worry about speed too much, it will improve over time by itself.
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RUSSELLORAMA 9/1/2012 3:36PM

    That's so amazing! Congrats on finishing the run! When I did my first 5k two years ago, it took me an hour and I was dead last, but strangely enough I didn't care. It was such an accomplishment after being fairly ill and in poor shape for so long!

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NESARIAN 9/1/2012 2:56PM

    LOL! I know what you mean about running. It feels so unnatural at first. Keeping at it has allowed me to find a flow. Takes me time to get into it each run but it is there for me to discover. I wish you Joy in searching for your flow!

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Body Image and the Mirror

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Every day, when each of us looks in the mirror, we all have this image of ourselves staring back. By now, most of us understand that sometimes our perception of what we look like can be distorted.

Body dysmorphic disorder and anorexia are two extreme examples of what happens when our perceptions are distorted. The late Michael Jackson always thought his nose was too big for his face. No matter how much surgery he had, his perception of what he saw never changed so no surgical procedure ever satisfied him. Karen Carpenter, another talented musician, suffered from anorexia so badly she literally starved herself to death.

Okay, Mike and Karen are extreme examples, but are we all really THAT different? What do YOU see when you look in the mirror?

For me, the image I have of myself never changes. It is the same whether I'm at a normal weight or obese. My image is of a slightly overweight woman. So you can imagine how easy it is to pile on nearly 70 extra pounds when you look in the mirror and see someone who's "not that big." It's a case of complete denial about a growing problem, pun intended! That's why I was so shocked to see the "before" picture I posted on my SP page. I never thought of myself as particularly "big". If my pants got tight, it was because they shrank in the wash. If I had to buy a larger size, it's because the clothing label ran small. The thickening around my middle? Well, that's what happens when you reach middle age.


Now, I'm 44 pounds lighter but the problem is, I don't always see it. So I take pictures, try on clothes in different sizes, weigh, measure body parts---all in an effort to get my brain caught up with my body. Intellectually, I understand that this can be problematic. Losing and maintaining weight is work so if I'm not rewarded when I look in the mirror, well, maybe I'm just meant to be heavy. Next thing you know I'm backsliding.

You would think that staying motivated when I've lost 2/3 of my extra weight is easy. Not really, it's still a daily struggle. My habits are new. Eight months of healthy habits versus 20 years of couch potatohood. It gets easier with time to make my morning smoothie, pack my gym bag and lunch and ignore the treats in the office. But the potential for backsliding remains--especially if it's hard to tell by looking in the mirror. Experts say it takes time for the brain to catch up and I totally agree.

Yeah, I know, I know---it's not only about looks. True, I have more energy. I'm healthier. I can shop anywhere. Believe me, I'm GLAD to have all of those non-scale rewards--especially my health. But emotionally, I still embrace the teenaged ideal of looking good in a pair of jeans.

To add insult to injury, we live in a culture heavily influenced by Madison Avenue's idea of beauty and are constantly subjected to a barrage of messages like:
"Our boutique's full-figured attire goes from size 10 to 14. If you are larger, you'll need to shop online"
"At 5'10" and 110 pounds, she's our ideal model"
"36-24-36--owww, what a winnin' hand"
"When you stand with your feet together, there should be a space between your thighs"

So we cope with the din of societal messages by creating our own affirmations:

"Real Women have curves"
"Don't no one want a bone but a dog"
"She's not fat, she's phat"
"I like big butts and I cannot lie"
"More bounce to the ounce"

Oh, the war of words goes on and on and when you're a woman of any race, the chatter is exhausting. In my case, my BMI is 27.8 and I am still 23 pounds from goal. I'm now hearing from friends and family that I don't need to lose any more weight. Are you serious? I finally got hip to how my weight was affecting my health and you say I should stay heavy? What's up with that?

Bottom line is, I want to be healthy AND I want to look my best. No, I don't want to be skinny, but I'm tired of seeing that slightly overweight woman in the mirror. I am so over her. I visualize looking in the mirror and seeing a new, vibrant, healthy and happy woman of a normal weight. I want to give myself time for this new image to register, so my brain and body will follow. So I keep pushing forward and work hard to visualize the new me.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

NYKIMMIE 8/31/2012 7:32AM

    You look great! emoticon

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MOBYCARP 8/30/2012 8:54PM

    My sister says it takes a year per 25 pounds to adjust the body image to a new weight. Perhaps that isn't the precisely correct ration of time to pounds, but the concept that body image lags weight change (up or down) resonates truth to me.

I am currently in maintenance. I've spent the last 3 weeks between 3 and 4 pounds lighter than I weighed on January 1. And even with my weight in a very tight range, my perception of being fat or thin varies from day to day. Tomorrow I should take some more pictures, so I can look at a month over month comparison and see if the camera thinks I'm maintaining as well as the scale says I am.

I suspect I won't really *feel* thin again until I'm running regularly.

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NEW-PAMELA-BERG 8/30/2012 3:02PM

    I caught a glimpse of my legs in a photo a friend took a few weeks ago. I didn't even realize it was me (except I was holding my iPad). It is interesting how we see ourselves versus what the camera captures. I think I am going to take some new pix of me because you are so right about the person I see in the mirror.
About 10 years ago my new mil handed me a picture of me sleeping, I honestly thought she had handed me a picture of my new man's ex wife...I didn't understand why she gave it to me...then I realized that fat lazy person sleeping on the couch was me!!! And yet here I am all these years later just now starting my journey. Go figure :)

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MILLIE5522 8/30/2012 2:46PM

    Keep taking photos & eventually you will believe it. Also keep some old clothes that used to be tight. They will be reminders of how far you have come. You are not alone. I and many others have the same problem with body image. I still look at other people who are the same weight/height and think they look slimmer than me. So for me its still work in progress. emoticon

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KTBLEYES1 8/30/2012 2:34PM

    Although I am starting over again after about a year of backsliding, I never gave up on myself. I continued to eat mostly healthy. I just gave in to those old comfort foods because they really DO comfort me. Back before I had my last two babies (who are now in their 30s), I had gotten down to 1.5 lbs from my set goal weight. Now why did I stop there? What was I afraid of? Was I going to disappear or something? I remember thinking that the woman in the store window looked pretty, and wondered who she was. It was me! I did not recognize myself. I continued to have that problem until, as you wrote, she disappeared! That almost thin, normal pretty woman was gone. It did not take long to put the weight back on, sadly to say. I then had 2 more babies. With each one I gained a few pounds. But then after having them so close together and with another older child too, boy did I need the comfort foods more! One day after visiting my grandson and changing his diaper on the floor, I had to struggle to get up. I had in the mean time put back on 80+ pounds. This took several years and many mood swings to accomplish. I was weighing 263 lbs when I re-joined w.w. for the umpteenth time. I lost down to 196 and got stuck there....again. Then those old self depriving comments started in again. Yep, up I went again. I have not re-gained all of the weight again, I am still down 35 lbs from that ugly 263. Now with SparkPeople in my pocket and the help I need from all of you wonderful people trying, doing and maintaining to encourage me, I KNOW that it will come off again. I have medical issues and grandchildren to see grow up for inspiration. I can't lose, but WILL lose. As always, I got carried away. What I am saying to you is: Keep up the good work; Don't give up and backslide, you have done too well; When those demon self depriving talkers start in, find a way to negate them. Yes, I remember when I was down nearly to goal. I did NOT see myself as normal yet. Even wearing the slimmer clothes, seeing the number on the scale, compliments from everyone, etc. This time I have the right tools. You do too! You look fabulous, by the way! Hang in there, you are fantastic! You inspire me to get on it!

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What a difference

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Yesterday, my daughter and I watched videos of my grandson from when he was a newborn to about one week old. We were amazed at how quickly he has progressed from being a tiny newborn to taking his first, few and faltering steps yesterday.

I was surprised to see that I was in the video holding my grandson. I'm wearing the same t-shirt from my "before" picture on my Sparkpage, so it means the video was shot on the same day. When I appeared in the video, my daughter looked at me and exclaimed "What a difference!"

I had never seen the video before and was astounded at how big I looked. I'm glad it only took the picture to spur me into action. The video would have totally depressed me.

My grandson has gone from being a 7 pound newborn to a 26 pound ten month old. I have dropped more than 40 pounds. It's like both of us have transformed.

BTW, I lost 1.5 pounds this week. My BMI is 27.8. Now, I only need to drop about 12 pounds to meet my third goal, which is to lose 57 pounds by the end of this year. Woo-hoo!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LABRATIAM 8/30/2012 6:47AM

    emoticon Too cool!

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BLKLILY 8/29/2012 9:51PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ALLYTHEATHLETE 8/29/2012 6:04PM

    That's so awesome! How affirming!



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HANAVAS 8/29/2012 2:32PM

    How wonderful! Such a sweet way to see the difference.
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P.S. Aren't grandbabies the best! emoticon

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ZOMBIELOVER 8/29/2012 10:01AM

    Way to go!!!! You are an inspiration!!!

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JOHNMARTINMILES 8/29/2012 8:58AM

    So, you are collecting weight and transferring it to your grandson! LOL

Make today a great day!

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LRK4CHRIST 8/29/2012 8:53AM

    WOW! Good for you. It's wonderful to look at your past and see how things have changed for the good. God is Good! I pray u continue to have success with your Healthy Living. Make it a lifestyle and you'll never be the same again. Be blessed!

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The Weekend, Baby

Sunday, August 26, 2012

This weekend I played softball for the first time in THIRTY emoticon YEARS. I am on a co-rec team in a recreational league and we had our first game on Friday. Our team isn't very good, but in a league like this one, I don't think it matters. We didn't win the game, but I bet my teammates drank the most beer.

For me, it was an opportunity to reconnect with a sport I played for six years in my youth. Although our team practice wore me out, I didn't move enough during the game to justify entering it into my fitness tracker. Still, anything I can do that gets me outdoors, away from the television and interacting with people can only be a good thing.

I have nothing in common with my teammates; we are a motley crew. At 46, I'm the oldest and our organizer is 22 and an unemployed 2012 college graduate struggling to find work in her field. Our best player is a local television anchorman and there's one other fella who works in medical records at an area emergency room. Total, I think there's five women and eight men. This is going to be an interesting season.

Saturday, I visited consignment shops in my ongoing quest to rebuild my wardrobe on the cheap. I hit the jackpot at one store because I found Chico's brand separates in a Chico's size 2 (size 12-14). I had stopped shopping at Chico's because after my bout of unemployment, I could no longer afford to. In addition, I had gained so much weight that I could no longer shop there because if you are larger than a Chico's size 3 (about a 14-16), then you are relegated to shopping online. I found a travelers size 2 jacket and a matching pair of size 2.5 pants. Each piece only cost about $15, which is a really good deal. Yay!

That afternoon I had a "cheat meal" which keeps me from feeling totally deprived. Not surprisingly, I had barbecued spare ribs, along with grilled vegetables. I bring up this meal because it's important to note that if I'm really trying to transition from "dieting" to a lifestyle, then it has to include my favorite less healthy foods in controlled situations. I have been doing this most weeks since I restarted the plan. Sometimes, if I'm not craving anything in particular, I'll forgo it, but if I really have a taste for something, I just go ahead and eat it and put that craving behind me. I think for me, the key is that I feel in control because it's something I planned.

Today, I did my grocery shopping for the week. I'm trying a few new recipes including a low fat version of a chocolate cream cheese pie, chicken salad, and an old Weight Watchers turkey burger recipe that I just love. I also bought my week's supply of berries for my morning smoothies.

What remains to be done today is for me to strength train at the gym. All this back-and-forth debate going on in my head is useless. There's no debate. I have the time today, so I have no excuses.

Onward and downward.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

DIBANANA 8/28/2012 8:26PM

  Good for you! No excuses is awesome. I'm proud of you for playing volleyball. Although you say you didn't get much of a workout I think that will change as your team gets better and as you say you are out and socializing and not sitting in front of the tv.! Yay for you!

Diana

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TACONES 8/26/2012 3:27PM

    Sounds like you really had a great weekend. emoticon emoticon

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